Wealth cant wait avoid the 7 wealth traps, implement the 7 business pillars, and complete a life audit today
This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher and author are not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional services. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought.
Part of the Tree Neutral® program, which offsets the number of trees consumed in the production and printing of this book by taking proactive steps, such as planting trees in direct proportion to the number of trees used: www.treeneutral.com
Printed in the United States of America on acid-free paper 17 18 19 20 21 22 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 First Edition
THIS BOOK IS FORour beloved families, friends, and heroes—our great mentors, teachers, and business partners who cared enough to help us on our journey. This book is for all those who have taught us how to be better people and for those we’ve had the pleasure of helping. This book is a reflection of all of you. May our collective wisdom change lives for the better.
To all those who choose abundance.
CONTENTS Introduction PART ONE MAKE THE CHOICE TO BUILD WEALTH 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.
A Matter of Choice
An Issue of Commitment Avoiding the Seven Wealth Traps Having Courage Having Wealth Vision Building Greater Wealth Naturally The Importance of Having a “Ground Game” and an “Air Game” Asset-Based Living Versus Cash-Flow-Based Living Making It Happen with Ease Taking Responsibility for Your Wealth Dealing with Setbacks
PART TWO EMBRACE THE MINDSET THAT BUILDS WEALTH 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24.
Think—Then Grow Rich Think, “What Do I Want in My Life?” Think, “I Am” Think Bigger by Aiming Higher Think 10X and Break through Your Limiting Beliefs Think Differently about the Rules Think “Easy” Instead of “Hard” Think about the Upside AND the Downside Think Without “Hindsight Bias” Think Proactively, Not Reactively Think Positively, Not Negatively Think the Second Thought Think Past the Chatter
25. Think, “The World Is Out to Help Me” 26. Think, “How Could This Benefit Me?” 27. Think, “Let’s Play”
PART THREE CREATE THE HABITS THAT BUILD WEALTH 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35.
The Seven Habits that Build Wealth Habit 1: Live Life by Design Habit 2: Make Business Decisions Based on Solid Fundamentals Habit 3: Stick with What You Know and Drill Deep Habit 4: Earn More by Learning More Habit 5: Chunk Down Big Goals and Add Accountability Habit 6: Spend Less Than You Earn and Invest the Rest Habit 7: Let Go of the Small Stuff
PART FOUR DEVELOP A BUSINESS THAT BUILDS WEALTH Pillar 1—Client Acquisition Is King—It’s the Most Important Skill Pillar 2—Look for Barriers to Entry Pillar 3—Magnify Your Effectiveness and Power through Leverage Pillar 4—Modeling—Identify a Person or Company that Is Doing What You Are Doing at a Much Higher Level 40. Pillar 5—Invest in Your Area of Core Competence 41. Pillar 6—Use the 80/20 Rule to Drill Down to the Vital Few 42. Pillar 7—Invest in Coaches, Mentors, and Masterminds 36. 37. 38. 39.
PART FIVE GENERATE THE MOMENTUM THAT BUILDS WEALTH 43. 44. 45. 46. 47.
Create Momentum through Flow Create Momentum through Virtuous Cycles Create Momentum through Scale Create Momentum through Health Create Momentum through Environment
Epilogue Appendix: Take Action and Begin Your Life Audit About the Authors Author Q&A Acknowledgments
BUILDING WEALTH May the odds be forever in your favor. —Effie Trinket
Some people are born on third base—they inherit money, marry into wealth, or win the lottery. The rest of us must hit base hits (and sometimes strike out) in our journey to build our own wealth. This book is for anyone who wants to put the odds in their favor. In the pages that follow, we’ll show you how to adopt the mindset and develop the skills you will need to empower your freedom, create your future, and build a life worth living today. We’re privileged to be a part of an extraordinary company, Keller Williams Realty International, which is the largest real estate company in the world, with more than 150,000 agents as of this printing. We are Keller Williams’s top-selling broker-owners, and we joined forces to write this book so we could share how you can build wealth in all areas of your life. We’ve divided our book into five parts: 1. Make the Choice to Build Wealth 2. Embrace the Mindset That Builds Wealth 3. Create the Habits That Build Wealth 4. Develop a Business That Builds Wealth 5. Generate the Momentum That Builds Wealth Building wealth—as opposed to having money go through your hands—requires you to make different choices, think different thoughts, practice different habits, and conduct business in a different way. These principles and practices work, and we’re going to show you how to implement them so that you can build wealth, just as we have. Building wealth. These two words work well together. Your level of income doesn’t determine your level of wealth. If you’re not building wealth, then you’re depleting it. Just as you can build muscle, or strengthen tennis skills, or tend your backyard into a wonderful oasis, the minute you stop doing these things your muscles atrophy, your tennis skills rust, and your garden overgrows. Just like with these activities, building wealth is a process that requires repetition and consistency to build “muscle.” It’s an application of knowledge to life that has a built-in feedback loop. When building wealth, you apply your knowledge through effort or investment. When you do this, you produce results and you either win or lose. Then you apply what you learned and do it all over again.
Throughout this book, we share the knowledge and tools that will help you create habits that build wealth. Having lots of money alone means nothing. Former NBA star Allen Iverson had lots of money and lost it. Lottery winners have lots of money (and many of them end up losing it)—but they could preserve it and grow it if they practice the wealth-building methods in our book. The real journey to wealth, however, is built upon the knowledge, skills, habits, and relationships that you apply to money. In the pages that follow, we share our journey and the lessons we have learned. These are lessons that people can use to climb their own mountains. If you are going to cure cancer, launch the next Rolling Stones, or build a new tech start-up and become a billionaire, please drop this book and get after it. Our techniques might not be for you, or we might slow you down. This book is for anyone who wants to put the odds in their favor and wants to build long-term, sustainable wealth. It’s for the man or woman who says, “I want my life to be on track to be amazing, unrecognizable from what it is now in five to ten years.” It’s not about winning the lottery or becoming an instant billionaire. This book is about building wealth. It will empower you with a set of skills that will serve you for a lifetime. We can help you create a life that is more joyous, one that will enable you to work with some talented people and do some incredible things. We do not have a get-rich-quick formula for you. Instead, we have a wealth-building formula for you. The journey is yours to take. We can’t do the work for you. But here’s the good news: It doesn’t have to be “hard” work. It can be play. By practicing what we offer in this book, you will learn to thrive and create the life you desire. Over the years we have built a lot of wealth, and we continue to do so. We’ve had things go our way and go against us. The greatest thing you can do to increase your wealth is to further your knowledge of wealth. The skills we share here are not just important; they are crucial to building wealth. In this book, you will find the keys that unlock wealth-building potential for anyone with the ambition, energy, and desire to do so. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get started!
A MATTER OF CHOICE Every decision you make takes you one step closer to being wealthy … or one step further away. —Shay Olivarria
Building wealth requires making a choice. One day you wake up. And instead of going back into the matrix, you stop. You look at your life and ask, “What game am I playing?” Maybe it was a life-changing event, be it positive or negative. Maybe you just picked up this book. It doesn’t really matter. Regardless of the reason, it’s moments like these that create an opportunity. They create a window of clarity to see your life from the outside in. At these moments you can stop and ask yourself, “Is the way I’m choosing to live my life leading me to the future that I really want?”
“All of us are, to some degree, sleepwalking through our lives.” All of us are, to some degree, sleepwalking through our lives. However, in these reflective moments we have the opportunity to ask ourselves if our lives are truly in line with the lives we would choose if we could have anything we desired.
The Programmed Life Many of us lead a “programmed life.” Much of what we do is determined by our culture, family, values, friends, education, career path, and financial status. For example, Paul’s parents thought that education and working as a professional—a lawyer, doctor, or engineer—was the right path for him. Think about it. Maybe your parents were blue-collar, middle class, like Paul’s, and believed in the value of a good education and a professional career as a doctor or engineer. Twenty years later, you’ve made life choices that please your family and follow someone else’s notion of what’s right for you, but you hate your career. Thinking back on these choices, does it still serve you to live by someone else’s rules? Does it even really serve them?
What Really Matters It is important to know what matters to you in your life. Money doesn’t really matter, unless, of
course, you don’t have any. But when you do have enough money to meet your basic needs, what really matters is what you can do with it. For example, money allows you to give your children the opportunity to get a good education. Money allows you to receive great health care. You can also travel more easily and contribute to great causes when you have money. Sounds like fun, right? And yet money still doesn’t matter. So, what matters then? Everyone’s answers will vary, so we encourage you to come to your own conclusions as you ponder this important question. But we’re going to give you a hint: It’s not money.
Why Wealth Matters Many people equate wealth to material goods and services, such as cars, houses, and taking lavish vacations. How many times have you heard the phrase, “Money isn’t everything”? We agree— somewhat. So, what is wealth then? What value does it have at its core? When you strip away all your material possessions, any preconceived ideas of the “good life,” and all your attachments, you’re left with three things: 1. Health 2. Family/Relationships 3. Freedom Think for a moment: Can money buy you health? Well, it depends who you ask and when you ask them. If you ask former billionaire Steve Jobs, the answer, quite obviously, is “no.” He died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 56. No amount of money could have healed his cancer-ridden body. However, if you consider the nearly 800 million people who don’t have access to clean water or sufficient food, just a little bit of money would “buy” them a lot of health. Can money buy you time? If you ask a dying man or woman, at most money can buy them only a small amount of time. Money is not good at buying time that’s already lost. But money—if spent well —can buy you future time. For example, Paul’s nephew recently rode a bus 26 hours from Chicago to Boston to see his cousin’s graduation. In this instance, $500 could have bought him a plane ticket home and saved him 20 hours. Can money buy you family and relationships? Again, it depends on whom you ask. If you have a strained relationship with your family, chances are you’re going to need to do more than write a check. You’ll need to work on rebuilding those important relationships. But if you are an infertile couple looking to adopt a child, money can definitely help you build a family. It’s all a matter of perspective. In fact, the more we thought about it, the more we realized that money is a form of energy which is synonymous with choice, or, better yet, freedom.
Wealth Brings Freedom
“When you say yes to wealth, you’re saying yes to your potential
for freedom.” Freedom is the power to choose and create. When you say yes to wealth, you’re saying yes to your potential for freedom. You’re acknowledging the power of possibility in your life. The wealthy are free to express themselves as they truly are—kind and giving or selfish and insufferable. As Will Smith said, “Money and success don’t change people; they merely amplify what is already there.” In the absence of wealth, your choices are limited, and we believe this compromises your quality of life, work, and health. Wealth creates freedom, and freedom is the ultimate gift in life.
Building Wealth Is Saying “Yes” to Yourself The lessons we share with you we learned through personal experience (both wins and losses) and from carefully observing other people and their approaches to building and maintaining not only wealth but also healthy and happy lives. Wealth building positively affects your personal and professional relationships and inspires your day-to-day outlook. As you choose to embrace wealth and experience greater choice, over time you will feel a sense of heightened calm, satisfaction, and genuine security—and not just of the material variety. Building wealth is a way of saying “yes!” to yourself and to those things that are important to you. It’s a way to align with all that you love and all that inspires you on your journey each day. By adopting a wealthy mindset and practicing the skills we recommend in the chapters ahead, you get to focus on what matters most to you.
“Wealth building positively affects your personal and professional relationships and inspires your day-to-day outlook.” WEALTH ACCELERATOR Wealth is just code for freedom, and freedom is the ultimate gift in life.
Wealth Can’t Wait If anyone suggests that your focus on building wealth is misplaced, just smile, thank them, and wish them luck. You alone are the captain of your wealth-building ship. And remember, you can’t buy back your time—it’s finite. So, make each day count. Commit to wealth and build your bridge to freedom now, because wealth can’t wait.
We hope that you’ll take the time to contemplate your life as you read this book. And if you don’t like what you’re doing or how you currently live, know that you can take action now that will produce positive change. We wrote this book to help you create the space and awareness so that you can alter your life in any way you choose.
BONUS CONTENT: JUMPSTART YOUR JOURNEY TO WEALTH To reward you for taking this wealth-building journey with us, we’re giving you some bonus material online. The bonus for this chapter consists of strategic questions to help you get in touch with the life of your dreams. The journey to building wealth begins when you determine what you want and take responsibility for getting there! By visiting the link below, you will find questions, diagnostics, audios, and videos, all designed to jumpstart your journey to wealth. You can unlock them by going to www.wealthcantwait.com/futureQs.
AN ISSUE OF COMMITMENT The line of progress is never straight. —Martin Luther King Jr.
Being wealthy, first and foremost, is a state of mind. It requires a commitment to winning the game of wealth. This will require you, at times, to look foolish, feel uncomfortable, be direct, and to purposefully focus your efforts and resources. So, what does commitment look like? Commitment is a knowing that permeates your being such that it becomes a part of you. It is a willingness to do whatever it takes. It’s a way of weaving that knowing into your fiber so that it goes with you on each step you take every day. If you commit to something 100%, it’s virtually certain to happen—unless you change your mind or die. That’s how steadfast we can all be in our commitments as we walk around each day. That doesn’t mean that we don’t take days off, or procrastinate, or have moments of doubt; but our willingness to reignite our long-term vision and our commitment to our journey never wane.
“Knowledge without action is wasted potential.” To attentively build wealth, make these major commitments: 1. Save capital to invest. At almost any income level you can save capital. Ronald Read, a Vermont janitor and gas station attendant, proved this well: By spending less than he earned and investing the rest, he ended up saving $8 million over the course of his life! 2. Make saving a daily habit and revisit your spending and savings goals each month. By simply mastering the art of saving and investing, you could end up with a fortune the size of Ronald Read’s! 3. Learn about wealth. You can accomplish this simply by reading or listening to four books a year about investing. Learning consistently leads to greatness over time. 4. Search for investments in your areas of choice. It’s crucial to hunt down opportunities that produce a solid yield. Hunting is a way of life for a wealthpreneur. Keep looking until you find something that helps you win. Hunting will teach you along the way. Once you’ve found an investment that produces a good yield, maximize it and find another.
5. Take action. Knowledge without action is wasted potential. Follow these steps even when your knowledge is less than complete. Stop over-thinking and move! To maximize your potential, commit to these five activities for the rest of your wealth-building life.
The Only Time You Lose Is When You Quit What if you fail? Failure doesn’t have to stop you from building wealth. It’s part of the process. If you don’t do something you committed to, then let it go and start over. If you commit to taking action, failing is a certainty. It’s part of the journey. Create resilience by focusing on the present and future. Don’t let a memory of failure, or success, hold you back.
“The only time you lose is when you quit.” If you’ve failed at something—that’s OK. It won’t matter in the long run. Failure happens all the time, so don’t waste time beating yourself up. Get over it, dust yourself off, and get after it again. And remember: The only time you lose is when you quit.
The Upside of Commitment Commitment has a massive upside. The more you keep your commitments, the better you function in all areas of your life. When you know you keep your commitments with every fiber of your being, it makes it so much easier to accomplish goals that are amazing.
WEALTH ACCELERATOR Develop the skills of goal-setting and commitment to get more of what you want. As you develop goal-getting skills and build goal-getting muscle, you get more and more of what you want. And as you get more and more of what you want, guess what happens? Your goals get bigger, your choices get bigger, your vision gets bigger, and your outcomes get bigger. More becomes possible. As shown in the illustration that follows, it’s a positive feedback loop of choosing what you want, getting what you want, and deciding to get even more. Develop the skills of goal-setting and commitment, and you will get more and more of what you want. As you get more of what you want, your passion for life will increase. And as your passion for life increases, you will find that you have the resources and energy to build an even bigger vision. It’s a self-reinforcing process.
AVOIDING THE SEVEN WEALTH TRAPS Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never … have enough. —Oprah Winfrey
To build wealth, you must actively cultivate a can-do, make-it-happen, fully aware state of mind. This will help you avoid the seven wealth traps and make it far easier to reach your goals. To build awareness and enhance your state of mind, think of someone who is less talented, less hardworking, less smart, and less of whatever it is you are good at, yet has more wealth than you. The odds are that person has escaped the wealth traps. In nearly all things, the biggest obstacle we’ll ever face is ourselves. By looking at the seven most common wealth traps, we can learn how to avoid these obstacles and achieve our wealth goals.
Wealth Trap 1: The Stable or Cushy Job We all know folks like these: • A ski instructor who loves to ski • A bartender who enjoys the social part of her job • A flight attendant who values travel All of these individuals are getting some subset of their needs met. But is it enough? And, do they have to quit their jobs? Not necessarily. They could still achieve their wealth goals by doing something—even seemingly small—to make a big impact. For example, the skier could create a ski school. The bartender could save her tips and invest in rental properties. And the flight attendant could get a real estate license. Along the way, they can use their personal skills to build an incredible network that includes others with similar or complementary interests.
“Building wealth is a contact sport.”
WEALTH ACCELERATOR You can build a path toward financial freedom outside of work while keeping your job. There are many paths to wealth, but staying comfortable where you are will not get you on them. Opportunities come every day. It’s how we show up and our willingness to see opportunity that determines our success. Building wealth is a contact sport. It requires movement, action, and impact. Be purposeful and build a network that takes you closer to your goals.
Wealth Trap 2: Risk Avoidance We all fear failure. We want to get it right. That is human nature. Ask yourself, “What is truly at risk?” Will you starve? Is your life at risk? Wealth is built alongside some risk. And, the longer you wait, the greater the stakes! If you take your savings and buy a property—one you can fix up and rent out or sell—what’s truly at risk?
“The biggest risk in life is not taking one.” Is it ego? Do you think you will get ridiculed for failing? More likely, most people will probably envy you for being bold enough to take such a risk. We’re not going to sugarcoat this—building wealth involves taking risks. But it’s overinflated compared to the risk of doing nothing. The biggest risk in life is not taking one.
Wealth Trap 3: Viewing Wealth as a Negative At some level, do you view money as dirty? Do you feel like you have to apologize for wanting to build wealth? What positive impact could you have on your family, your friends, even on the world at large? Celebrate your pursuit of wealth and look at it as a pathway to freedom. And, steer clear from those who think money is a dirty word.
Wealth Trap 4: Not Staying the Course The pursuit of wealth, like any path in life, has its ups and downs. You’ll win some and lose some. We see people quit way too early. If you take an initial step and then have one bad experience, is it really time to quit? When you face a setback, you have a choice: You can jump ship by focusing on the sting of the
loss or stay the course and reap the value of the lesson. Just remember: You had courage before the loss, and now you have the power of more experience and information as you move forward.
WEALTH ACCELERATOR If you failed, that’s OK. Take the lesson and march forward with more experience under your belt.
Wealth Trap 5: The Victim and Negativity Trap Bad stuff happens every day. Life can be really hard. Unfair things occur. And if you build a house in past misery, move in, and hang pictures on the walls of negative things that happened to you, you could easily get stuck there, maybe forever!
“It’s hard to move forward with a positive vision when you are locked into an event from the past.” Victimhood leads to blame, apathy, and general malaise. It’s hard to move forward with a positive vision when you are locked into an event from the past. Negativity tends to lead to inertia and despondence. Don’t let a bad occurrence hold you back.
Wealth Trap 6: The Know-It-All Trap There is someone who thinks that they know it all in every crowd. As Stephen Hawking said, “The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.” On the path to wealth, stay curious. The illusion of knowledge, the expert syndrome, stops curiosity, hinders teachability, and limits your journey.
HAVING COURAGE Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway. —John Wayne
Starting your wealth-building journey is not about what you know. It’s about having the courage to dive in and the willingness to learn along the way. Knowledge is one of the most overrated assets in wealth building. Sometimes the more you know, the less likely you are to take action. For example, how many economics professors are wealthy? Yet who knows more about economic forces than an economics expert? We’re not saying don’t analyze opportunities, but realize that when you analyze an opportunity, there will almost always be more reasons not to do something than to do it. Our primitive brains are designed to keep us alive by avoiding risk. Unfortunately, this also inhibits action.
It Is Risky, but Start Anyway When David was building his real estate company, he and his team pitched the concept to many smart and experienced real estate professionals. The overwhelming majority declined their offer. One guy in particular was an amazing Realtor®. He worked very hard and produced almost $1 million a year in commission income. The offices he declined now produce more than $1 million dollars a year in passive income! Today that guy is still at the same grind, working very hard selling real estate. He is older now, and not loving the grind as much as he once did. Unfortunately, he passed on one of the best opportunities of his lifetime, because it seemed too new and risky. This play-it-safe approach caused him to miss out on a great opportunity. At the time we bought our first real estate franchises, we had no idea what we were doing. Though coming from different places, we both took action. What we shared was a willingness, a learning-based mind, and some great mentors. We both took action and planted the seeds for building more wealth with limited information rather than waiting for more sophisticated analysis. It was this willingness to take action and learn from our mistakes and mentors that built most of our wealth.
If You Commit to Building Wealth, It Will Happen You build wealth by applying yourself to the task of building wealth. If you commit to building wealth, it will happen. It’s that simple.
WEALTH ACCELERATOR Build wealth through the actions you take and the results you get (both positive and negative) rather than the knowledge you start with.
HAVING WEALTH VISION It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan. —Eleanor Roosevelt
Once you decide to be wealthy, the second most important step is to create a wealth vision. We’ve created a simple four-part PATH that can take you to your wealth vision: 1. Plan for wealth. 2. Take Action steps to move yourself forward. 3. Work with a Team of talented people and peers. 4. Hold yourself accountable.
Plan for Wealth People who build wealth tend to have a plan, a focus, and a vision for the future. Your plan is where you will spend the majority of your thinking time, cultivating a burning desire to achieve it. By choosing this plan, and by committing to it, you will begin to be shaped by the future outcome you have chosen. Creating your own wealth plan allows you to step into a future that builds wealth. This plan has a clear outcome, method, and model. And it can be modified as circumstances dictate.
“Even a bad plan is better than no plan.” —Peter Thiel Take Action Steps to Move Yourself Forward Once you have a plan, break it down into action steps that immediately move you toward your chosen outcome. For example, if you want to write a novel, thinking about it all day, day after day, won’t get you there. You must put pen to paper.
“Action is the bridge between ideas, potential, and reality.” Action is the bridge between ideas, potential, and reality. A wrong move can be better than no action, because then you will then have experience and an opportunity to learn. Life is risky. But it’s even risk-ier if you do nothing.
Work with a Team of Talented People and Peers People who build wealth quickly tend to surround themselves with amazing, talented folks. We call this leverage. One thing that separates us from the pack is being able to hire the very best people as employees, consultants, coaches, or advisors. For example, what could you accomplish if you could hire the best of the best to assist you in creating your dreams? Would hiring a world-class assistant accelerate your growth path? We’re amazed when we see people failing to delegate things they don’t like doing. If a person is repairing their car, they’re trading the hours they could spend building wealth doing work they could easily outsource. Maybe you feel that you can’t afford that right now, or it seems like a luxury. We would say that unless you find it therapeutic to clean your house, you should outsource it and spend that time taking action on your plan. If you find yourself saying, “But no one does it as well as me,” it’s time to let that perfectionism go and get out of your own way. The truth is no one will do it exactly like you. But think about this: There are also those who could do it even better.
“Delegation and building a phenomenal team is a cornerstone of winning at the highest level.” So, give outsourcing a try. The more you outsource to others, the more you create an amazing team. And in turn, the more time you will have to take action on, and do, the critical thinking for the business and future you are creating. Delegation and building a phenomenal team is a cornerstone of winning at the highest level. Put your soul into your dream and let others support you on the journey. Great forces come to the aid of those who are willing to get out of their own way and strive for a definite purpose, something that will make a difference and leave a legacy. We love hiring great people and seeing them win. We’ve learned that if we can put someone in a position where they thrive and earn more than ever before while enjoying the process, they will be incredibly productive. In turn, our economic world grows with them. What could be a better outcome than that?